Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo: Big change adds entry fee after 3 p.m. this year

A big change comes to the popular Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo fest taking place on the banks of Bayou St. John on May 18 through May 20. This year, the fest will charge an entry fee after 3 p.m. for the first time in its 12-year history, according to a release.

Note: Details of this festival have changed since the article was published. The Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo announced that it now will remain an entirely free festival this year. Read more here.

Festival-goers arriving after 3 p.m. will pay a $5 admission fee on Friday and a $10 admission on Saturday and Sunday. Before the 3 p.m. cut-off time, entry to the fest will still be free. Children under 12 are free all day, every day. The Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo is open until 9:30 p.m. on Friday, May 18 and Saturday, May 19 and 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 20.

Organizers cite quite a few reasons for the new cover charge, including unpredictable weather and production costs.

“The economics of a totally free festival are challenging and depend on the changing realities of weather and sponsors,” festival founder Jared Zeller said. “To offset the substantial costs of production, infrastructure and security, the Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo will now be Free Until 3,” Zeller said.

RELATED: Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo releases 2018 lineup, features Leo Nocentelli

The festival will also offer three-day general admission wristbands for the festival for $20 in advance, which will also allow re-entry. The wristbands can be purchased online and at the gate on festival days.

Festival-goers can also purchase passes to Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo’s VIP experience, The Canopy Club, for a tax-deductible donation of $250. Canopy Club pass holders enjoy cooling units, stage-front viewing, a private bar with complimentary beverages, catered cuisine and comfy seating for all three festival days. Children under 12 can accompany Canopy Club parents free of charge. The Canopy Club Pass also provides entry into the festival.

Some local music legends are set to headline the festival including 2018 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient original Meters guitarist Leo Nocentelli. Nocentelli will join first-time performers Deacon John & the Ivories and Marc Broussard. The complete music lineup for this year’s event features more than 30 music acts on four stages.

The neighborhood-centric event will also showcase a curated arts market with more than 60 regional artists, a Family Village with games and activities, food from 30 local restaurants and caterers as well as paddling, biking and yoga activities.

For more information, visit Bayou Boogaloo’s website.

You may also like:

18 New Orleans-area festivals to check out this May

Local crawfish expert shares his secret to seriously amp up your boil